Simon Flexner (1863-1946) was an American physician and physiologist who organized the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in 1901, served as the first director of this organization, and developed an effective therapy for meningococcal meningitis. During World War I, he led the effort to develop a more efficient way to produce the serum to prevent this dread disease and, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, distributed thousands of doses to Allied troops in Europe, free of charge. For this and other services to the Allied cause, the French government honored Flexner with the Legion of Honor: a Chevalier in 1914, an Officer in 1919, and a Commander in 1926. This large five-armed Maltese cross with red ribbon is Flexner’s Commander medal.
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